Why Flood Situation in Assam
Assam with its vast network of rivers is prone to natural disasters like floods and erosion which has a negative impact on the overall development of the state. The Brahmaputra and Barak River with more than 50 numbers of tributaries feeding them, causes flood devastation in the monsoon period each year. The flood and erosion problem of Assam is singularly different from other states so far as extent and duration of flooding and magnitude of erosion is concerned and is probably the most acute and unique in the country.
The flood-prone area of the assam as assessed by the Rashtriya Barh Ayog (RBA) is 31.05 Lakh Hectares against the total area of state 78.523 Lakh Hectares i.e. about. 39.58 % of the total land area of Assam. This is about 9.40% of the total flood-prone area of the country. Records show that the average annual area affected by floods is 9.31 Lakh Hectares. The flood-prone area of the country as a whole stands at about 10.2 % of the total area of the country, but the flood-prone area of Assam is 39.58 % of the area of the state. It signifies that the flood-prone area of Assam is four times the national mark of the flood-prone area of the country.
During the post-independence period, Assam faced major floods in 1954, 1962, 1972, 1977, 1984, 1988, 1998, 2002, 2004 and 2012. Almost every year three to four waves of flood ravage the flood-prone areas of Assam. The average annual loss due to flood in Assam is to the tune of Rs. 200.00 Crores and particularly in 1998, the loss suffered was about Rs. 500.00 Crores and during the year 2004 it was about Rs. 771.00 Crores.
Area Covered by Brahmaputra River
First survey (1912-28)
Second survey (1963-75)
Third survey (2006 NESAC):
Breaches of embankment due to bank erosion by the rivers have become a common phenomenon. New areas are being affected by erosion every year. The riverine fertile agricultural lands of the state are reducing due to erosion, which has a very negative impact on the rural economy of the state.
The extent of damage due to bank erosion is alarming in nature which can be seen from the following table (as assessed by the Revenue Department):